DANNY Grainger had insisted his Workington team followed-up Tuesday’s excellent victory over Clitheroe with another win at struggling Ossett – and his players didn’t let him down.

It might have been a struggle to get in front but coming at the right time, a minute before the interval, it set up a confident second-half performance which earned top spot for the Cumbrians.

To be fair, Ossett - whose manager Wayne Benn missed the game because he was self-isolating – were a young, enthusiastic side who pressed the Reds well and made life difficult.

Opportunities though, for both sides, were few and far between with neither goalkeeper seriously tested and it was a great relief when a fine goal gave them the lead on 44 minutes.

Liam Brockbank, rampaging down the left fired in a fierce cross and with goalkeeper Max Dearnley just hesitating that fraction, Scott Allison nipped in smartly to fire home.

It was a welcome breakthrough and a milestone goal for Allison, his 127th for the club which puts him level with Gareth Arnison as Reds’ highest goal-scorer in the last 70 years.

The only two ahead of him on the all-time list are from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

When Reds scored again three minutes after the re-start the game was virtually in the bag, and it was another quality finish.

Conor Tinnion and Allison were involved in the build-up down the right and then Brad Carroll did well to slip past a defender and pull back the perfect low cross for Reuben Jerome to expertly tuck away.

A third goal on 54 minutes killed-off the game as a contest. Tinnion slung over a right-wing corner and Sam Smith rose best to head home.

Allison was closest to extending the Reds lead,;once with a lob which went just wide after the keeper had strayed too far forward, and then with a fierce shot which seemed to be screaming for the net but was deflected behind off a defender’s outstretched leg.

Late on Jim Atkinson did have a scramble along his line before gathering a deflected shot, while Aaron Haswell engineered a good opportunity for himself when cutting in from the right but fired over from a great position.

The game was not a feisty, ill-tempered affair yet nine players (five Reds, four Ossett) found their way into the referee’s book – and the one red card came from easily the worst foul of the game.

Substitute Reggie Waud, on debut, scythed down Jerome from behind on 82 minutes and when the referee was advised to consult his assistant who was right next to the incident he produced the red card.

In fact both sides finished the game with 10 men as Jerome, who had been limping before that hefty challenge, went-off and Reds had already made their three changes.

But with the game won, a numerical advantage didn’t matter and in fact it rather petered-out with the job done, and Reds back on top of the League.

Ossett United: Dearnley, Gagen (Levi-Lewis 64), Hardaker, Hogg, Burke, Clark, Connolly (Green 55), Stockdill, Normanton, Harrison (Waud 62), Haswell. Sub (not used) Teale.

Workington: Atkinson, Kelly, Brockbank, Wordsworth, Smith (Casson 62), Hubbold, Holt, Carroll (Symington 55), Jerome, Allison, Tinnion (Potts 72). Subs (not used) Clarke, Bowman.

Goals: Allison 44, Jerome 48, Smith 54

Referee: Luke Watson

Crowd: 400